Economy

Turkey to Be Transformed as Erdogan Sworn in With Vastly Expanded Powers

Turkey to Be Transformed as Erdogan Sworn in With Vastly Expanded Powers”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was sworn in on Monday under a new governing system that grants him sweeping executive powers, which critics say give him far too much control.

Mr Erdogan's new position marks a transition away from a parliamentary system and the office of prime minister, which has been in place since the foundation of the modern Turkish republic 95 years ago.

Erdogan named his son-in-law Berat Albayrak as treasury and finance minister in an updated cabinet that excluded former deputy prime minister Mehmet Simsek, seen as the main market-friendly minister in the previous government. "There is no stopping for us until we bring Turkey - which we saved from plotters, coupists and political and economic hitmen, street gangs and terrorist organisations - to among the top 10 economies in the world", he said.

"We, as Turkey and as the Turkish people, are making a new start here today", Erdogan said in an address late on Monday.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the opening ceremony of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit at its headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.

After news emerged of the appointment of Mr Erdogan's son-in-law, the Turkish lira lost more than 3% of its value.

"We are facing a period where we have to work hard to bring inflation down to single digits again", said Albayrak, adding that Turkey will have a stronger monetary policy in the upcoming period.

His supporters see them as just reward for a leader who has put Islamist values at the core of public life, championed the pious working classes and built airports, hospitals and schools.

The president will be able to select his own cabinet, regulate ministries and remove civil servants, all without parliamentary approval.

In other words, Turkey will be an institutionalised autocracy.

Among the dignitaries present at the ceremony were Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir. No major Western leader featured on a list of 50 presidents, prime ministers and other high-ranking guests published by state news agency Anadolu. In 2016, a coup to depose him failed.

Erdogan announced the new cabinet hours after he was sworn in. Those times have already arrived, with the economic boom he's presided over threatening to turn into a bust, and a crackdown on dissent gaining new momentum.

In a speech on Saturday, Erdogan said he would tackle high-interest rates, inflation and a wide current account deficit. The lira, which gained more than 1 percent earlier on Monday to 4.51 against the dollar, briefly fell back sharply after a government decree removed a clause stipulating a five-year term for the central bank governor.

The five-year term served as a sort of "shield" for the central bank, helping to ensure its independence from politicians, said Ugur Gurses, a former central banker.

"The pace at which he (Erdogan) is moving to tighten his grip is alarming and, in response, Turkish financial assets have come under pressure", said Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, in a note to clients.

Erdogan won an absolute majority in the presidential election with 52.5 percent of the vote.



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